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Benefits of eating dates in pregnancy - how dates can help your labour!

Have you heard that eating #datesinpregnancy can benefit your labour & birth?

Yep, really!

Benefits can include…

Eating dates can:

  • increase the chance of spontaneous labour

  • increase chance of your waters staying intact

  • lead to shorter labour

  • higher cervical dilation

  • lower rates of induction

  • 28% reduction in use of artificial oxytocin.

I shared this fantastic information over on my Instagram page @thebirthbase, one of my followers tried it & a few weeks later she told me ‘Worked for me I experienced all those benefits. 🙌🏻Turns out I was slowly dilating over 3 days, then as soon as my waters broke I was fully dilated within 1 hour, and had my beautiful baby boy on his due date!’.

How to consume dates in pregnancy?

You can try eating 6 dates fruits per day for 4 weeks prior to your estimated due date! (Unless you have #gestationaldiabetes, then please avoid due to their naturally high sugar content!). You could eat dates on their own, with peanut butter, or adding them to smoothies, or you could add some to your favourite flapjack recipe - the possibilities are endless! Have you tried eating dates? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below and if you’d be interested in any recipes!

What’s the science behind this?

Why do we know this? Well a trial study in Jordan, where one group of women took part in the trial to either consume six date fruits per day for 4 weeks prior to their due date, whilst the other consumed none found the following…

‘’The women who consumed date fruit had significantly higher mean cervical dilatation upon admission compared with the non-date fruit consumers (3.52 cm vs 2.02 cm, p < 0.0005), and a significantly higher proportion of intact membranes (83% vs 60%, p = 0.007).

Spontaneous labour occurred in 96% of those who consumed dates, compared with 79% women in the non-date fruit consumers (p = 0.024).

Use of prostin/oxytocin was significantly lower in women who consumed dates (28%), compared with the non-date fruit consumers (47%) (p = 0.036).

The mean latent phase of the first stage of labour was shorter in women who consumed date fruit compared with the non-date fruit consumers (510 min vs 906 min, p = 0.044).

It is concluded that the consumption of date fruit in the last 4 weeks before labour significantly reduced the need for induction and augmentation of labour, and produced a more favourable, but non-significant, delivery outcome’’(Al-Kuran O, Al-Mehaisen L, Bawadi H, Beitawi S, Amarin Z. The effect of late pregnancy consumption of date fruit on labour and delivery. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2011;31(1):29-31. doi: 10.3109/01443615.2010.522267. PMID: 21280989).

You can read more about this fascinating the study here

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